Dave Smith, an Ottawa businessman and philanthropist who founded a well-known downtown deli and later launched a treatment centre for young people struggling with addictions issues, has died.
His death was announced Friday in a statement by the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, which he founded in 1993.
"He was a visionary and established a facility to help kids with alcohol and substance issues decades before the problem was widely recognized," said executive director Mike Beauchesne in the statement.
"Every life that was turned around at the facility was the source of great joy for him."
Born and raised in Ottawa to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Smith established himself in the business community by starting Nate's Deli, which spawned a successful catering business and later, several other popular restaurants.
He raised more than $140 million for local, national and international charities over the years, while founding both his eponymous drug treatment centre and the Ottawa Technical Learning Centre.
Smith was also a recipient of both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, and in 2013, to mark his 80th birthday, the City of Ottawa named a street after him.
Smith was 87. A public memorial will be held when COVID-19 restrictions allow, the treatment centre said.